China was supposed to be smarter than this.
For two weeks, China has had its largest, richest, and most Western-style mainland city on lockdown. Coronavirus has been spreading through the city at a rate of 25,000 new cases per day. This outbreak is China’s largest since Covid-19 first appeared in Wuhan 28 months ago. Yet despite having two years of mistakes from the rest of the world to learn from, China is making the same catastrophic blunders that the U.S. and others did, and in the process jeopardizing all the economic and political gains it has accrued over the past two years.
The lockdown opened ominously enough, with robot dogs roaming the streets warning residents to stay inside.
Lockdown in Shanghai: dog robots announce that nobody is allowed to leave the house. Drones fly around, come right up to you when they spot you outside and tell you to go back inside.pic.twitter.com/TM7Te6xgwW— James Jackson (@derJamesJackson) April 1, 2022
The public obeyed, and by the start of April Shanghai was a ghost town — or rather, a vast prison holding 25 million people.
Ghost town — Shanghai in an eerie quiet lockdown. With 26 million official residents*, Shanghai is one of the most populated cities on Earth. It looks like a movie—but it’s real.— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 30, 2022
📌You can also spot the isolation centers at the 40 sec mark.
*Undocumented locals=>millions more. pic.twitter.com/TS0btjGueO
Just like in America, locals stripped store shelves bare before going into lockdown, adding to a feeling of panic and crisis.
Local residents in Shanghai seen fighting over groceries as half of its 26 million residents are in lockdown, and other half entering lockdown soon. The narrator cusses & complains there’s nothing even left to fight over (locals are notoriously cutthroat). pic.twitter.com/srJY9vm9pT— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 30, 2022